The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is always a special event on the PGA Tour. Professionals are paired with celebrities and CEO's throughout the week and the atmosphere is fun and extremely laid back. I was once again paired with my good friend and Houston Astros owner, Jim Crane. We had a great time and I was very intrigued by our conversations of his day to day operations with the Astros. Jim lives in Houston and obviously has an extremely influential circle of friends. This year, Jim invited his good friend and fellow Houstonian Clyde "the Glide" Drexler to join our group during the Tournament. It was truly an honor to spend three days with both of these two gentlemen and I will forever remember the experience. As a member of the NBA Hall of Fame, Clyde has achieved tremendous success on and off the basketball court. I was thoroughly impressed with his 4 handicap (Jim's as well..2 handicap) and his "go to" shot...a low bullet power fade. Clyde burst into laughter on the 4th hole when I began calling him Clyde "the Slide" in reference to his seemingly effortless power fade. We instantly became friends and I spent two evenings eating supper with both of my Amateur partners during the week. The stories that the two of them told were amazing! Inside tales of Baseball and Basketball were the common theme and I couldn't believe the one that I am about to tell.
Clyde Drexler, NBA Hall of Fame Member, was CUT from his 10th grade Basketball team. How that happens....I have no idea! He eventually was asked to join the team after the Head Coach saw him playing in the gym one day during lunch. At first he refused to play for the man who embarrassed and cut him only weeks earlier. However, after an in-home visit from the Coach with Clyde's mother, they eventually convinced him to play for the school. He went on to average over 30 points and 20 rebounds and 15 assists a game! Amazingly enough though, Clyde was not on many college radar's and if not for one of his best friends, he might not have played in college at all. A package deal of sort, landed Clyde and his best friend (also one of the top players in the country) at the University of Houston. They went on to greatness and with the help of another NBA Hall of Fame player, Hakeem Olajuwon, became one of the best teams in the history of college basketball. However, things didn't start off so well. Clyde told me that when Hakeem showed up for his first day of practice with the Houston Cougars, the point guard passed the ball down to the future NBA Hall of Fame player. Hakeem caught the ball, tucked it like a football, and began running down the court like a running back! Seriously...a future NBA Hall of Fame Member started his legendary basketball career galloping down the court like Herschel Walker!!!?? Unreal.
The experiments with my equipment were costly as I missed my first cut in four weeks. The golf ball change was detrimental as well as a Driver and 3 wood that couldn't find the fairway. Obviously, the game of golf is hard enough but when you play from the rough on seemingly every hole....you have no chance. I am extremely frustrated with my game right now because the hard work that I have put in each and every week hasn't paid off. I have practiced harder this year than any time in my career! My hands are beat and battered and the cuts and blood are evidence of my hard work. Regardless of the results, I will continue to work hard and I truly believe that great things are on the horizon.
This week I am in LA for the Northern Trust Open at historic Riviera. Traffic has been a nightmare throughout the week but I am managing pretty good for a Redneck. Hopefully this week will be MY week and my frustration will be an afterthought come Sunday.